Melbourne win by 11 points
Five wins in six games had reignited Melbourne's hopes of playing in the finals, and it made their game against fellow top eight contenders Richmond even more important. The Tigers had only lost one game to that point, but two moments of individual brilliance won the game for the Demons. First Garry Lyon kicked a goal from 45 metres out on the boundary line after a free kick to send the Dees 16 points clear in the last quarter before Glenn Lovett marked strongly and goalled to extend the gap to 22. Richmond got two late consolation goals but it was too late to make a difference.
After seven goals to one from midway through the first quarter, Melbourne had been as much as 26 points in front in the second. Lyon had already kicked three and David Neitz was excelling at centre half-forward. Richmond recovered to be within a goal at half time, and in front midway through the third quarter. Melbourne retook the lead before a late Neitz goal extended the margin beyond one straight kick. Lyon's goal early in the last extended the margin.
Neil Balme said "They're in a pretty good position and we're battling a bit. It was always going to be hard for us but I reckon our blokes were terrific."
Melbourne 14.12.96 d. Richmond 13.8.86
Goals - Grinter 5, Hall 3, Norman 2, Farmer 2, Irving 1, Clarke 1
Best - Yeats, Rohde, Irving